Cisco Borderless Network Architecture Product Line Expands

By Chris Talbot

A year after Cisco Systems announced its Borderless Network Architecture, the company is releasing a slate of new products that will continue to build on the original vision. The new products fall under Cisco's routing, switching, security and mobility product lines.

This is the third set of announcements in the last year from Cisco about the Borderless Network Architecture. According to Inbar Lasser-Raab, senior director of network systems at Cisco Systems, more customers are finding the lines blurred between consumer and business technology as more consumer devices are making it into the enterprise, and the Borderless Network vision is meant to handle that IT issue. The latest news from Cisco builds on those capabilities further, expanding the network out from the traditional data center to encompass remote and mobile devices.

"With this announcement today, we are rolling out capabilities with four major elements of the Borderless Network," Lasser-Raab said. She noted that the cornerstone that makes the architecture possible is the security that's being integrated into the various components so that business users can connect all the elements of technology and services together without having to worry about data breaches.

According to Lasser-Raab, there has been much interest among customers for the Borderless Network vision. Market transitions like video, the explosion of mobile devices and the blurring of the lines between personal and business devices are the key drivers behind the architecture, she said.

"These are key transformations that are happening on the user's side," she said. Coupled with what's happening on the infrastructure side (like the emergence and growing popularity of cloud computing), it means there is increasing importance on the WAN infrastructure.

New products are being added to the Borderless Network Architecture, including a router, a switch, a firewall and an entry-level access point.

Cisco is introducing the Catalyst 4500E Series, which is part of its mid-range 4500 switching platform line. The 4500E is a new entry-level modular switch that provides high-performance modular switching capabilities.

"What's great about this switch is it's now officially the fastest switch of its size," Lasser-Raab said. She also noted it has the highest number of PoEP ports for its size. It can deliver 848Gbps of system bandwidth and has 384 PoEP ports.

For enterprise branches, Cisco is releasing the ASR 1001 router, which Lasser-Raab said offers very high performance in a very compact form factor. She claimed that it's the fastest router of its size, with the ability to provide up to 5Gbps performance throughput with services turned on.

Cisco announced the ASA 5585-X Adaptive Security Appliance under its security banner. The ASA 5585-X is a 2RU firewall with double the performance of what Cisco has available today, Lasser-Raab said. The firewall can support 10,000 concurrent VPN connections. It can run at up to 20Gbps of multi-protocol throughput and 35Gbps of large packet throughput of maximum firewall performance.

According to Cisco, the new firewall is ideal for mission-critical data centers.

Also included in this round of product releases is the Aironet 1040 Series Access Point, which Lasser-Raab said is Cisco's lowest-end 802.11n access point. It's being targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and economy buyers.

"It really gives them the right footprint and right price point to adopt 802.11n wireless networks," she said.

Cisco is also updating AnyConnect. The 3.0 version now supports hybrid mobility deployments through ScanSafe cloud security services, as well as further support for IPSEC IKEv2, SSL and DTS. It also contains an integrated 802.1X supplicant and 80.2.1AE MACSec support. Cisco also announced support for Windows 7 devices.

Cisco also announced CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution 4.0 and the Cisco Smart Net Total Care Service, which provides IT professionals with additional visibility into their networks.

Last but not least, Cisco announced the Application Velocity network service, which is rooted in Cisco ISR routers and is a key element of the Borderless Network Architecture, Lasser-Raab said. Application Velocity provides better visibility and control of application acceleration and WAN optimization.

Three products have been announced as part of Application Velocity. Cisco WAAS Express provides WAN optimization on Cisco IOS software and has been integrated into the Cisco ISR G2. Cisco WAAS on the ISR G2 Services-Ready Engine (SRE) gives businesses on-demand application acceleration and WAN optimization services. Cisco Unified Communications System Express enables customers with the ISR G2 SRE installed to run any Windows or VMware application without the need for an additional application server.

Except for the ASR 1001, all of the products will be available this month. The ASR 1001 will be available at the beginning of December.


This article was originally published on 2010-10-06